Gates Of Hell: “Critical Obsession” release party

Grankapo, The Ransack, For The Glory, Gates Of Hell
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
13th April 2013

I’ve recently mentioned Switchtense as one of the metal Portuguese bands who openly supports the “end of war” between metal and hardcore. Gates Of Hell is another one. And so, for such a big event in their lives as it is the release party of their first full-length, “Critical Obsession”, the boys invited two hardcore bands – Grankapo and For The Glory – as well as a death metal band – The Ransack. And it was a hell (no pun intended) of a party.

Grankapo got on stage a bit past nine-thirty, fifteen minutes later than scheduled. Still the place wasn’t exactly packed (I think I’ve already told you that the Portuguese crowd isn’t the most punctual). But the few who were there made it worth it, slamdancing with enough intensity to put me on alert and watch my back while photographing the show. And the metalheads, even though a few steps farhter behind, headbanged to the adrenaline surge that rushed off the stage.

Starting with “Sinner Of The World” and finishing with “Man Killing Man”, going through “Private Hell” or “My Son” (dedicated to drummer Ivan‘s son), a few guys in the crowd – including Gates Of Hell drummer Afonso – helped singer Fuck (yup, that’s his nickname) screaming the lyrics.

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Not sure what happened because The Ransack was as brutal as always but the crowd didn’t mosh like there was no tomorrow, as they usually do. Singer Shore kept calling them up to the front, some of them by their own names, but the circles were still weak. Guess they weren’t exactly in their element, among the hardcore and metalcore-thrash fans. But as death metal goes, it was a great show, which focused mainly on their last album “Bloodline”. But they also played a couple from “Vortex” (“The Plague” and “Slaves Of Creation”) and visited “Azrael” through “Exorcise”. They closed with “Zenith”, which got a little bit more of movement. A shame, really, as their performance deserved a better response.

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On the other hand, all hell broke loose with For The Glory! I’m not an expert in the subject to say they’re the best Portuguese hardcore band at the moment – although I’ve heard so many people saying so, that they’re surely one of the best – but I’ve been to too many gigs in the past 20 years to assure you that these guys know what they’re doing on stage. Singer Congas said it was a pleasure to be back in Porto, in another event that brought together different styles but just as extreme as hardcore and metal.

“Life Is A Carousel” features Hugo from Switchtense, but the latter was in Germany, playing at Chronical Moshers Open Air Warm Up. No worries! The majority of the crowd did the trick for the absent guest! And the hymn “Survival Of The Fittest” was entitled to a stage invasion – although that happened throughout the whole gig, but for stagediving purposes.

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I’ve seen Gates Of Hell a few times before and this was definitely their best show so far. And it had nothing to do with the fact that they were celebrating the release of their debut album. It helped to the mood, obviously, but this band has grown a lot stronger. Without disrespect for past members, I also think that this is the most solid line-up they’ve got.

They kicked off with “Releasing The Disease”, and so did the mosh pit. For 45 minutes, band and crowd were relentless – the first introducing us the new album (and remembering the EP “Shadows Of The Dark Ages” with “Hypocrisy” and “Breaking The World”), the second in full support to the hosts of that big party.

In the studio version, “Abusive Resolution” has a Danish special guest – HatesphereEsben “Esse” Hansen. As he wasn’t there that night, Congas from For The Glory filled in. “Who said such a stupidity that metal and hardcore didn’t go along?” asked singer Raça rhetorically. “I saw a huge circle to the metal of Gates Of Hell, I saw a huge circle to the hardcore of For The Glory, now I want to see a huge circle for both! Unite!”. Or something like that – translating literally from Portuguese is just not possible. Anyway, you got the idea. And the crowd did get the message.

They were running somewhat late, and there was no time to play “Chronical Revolt” . But they finished with the title-track/first single, with Raça saying “you probably heard it on YouTube and liked it. If you didn’t like it, come up here just the same and maybe you’ll change your mind”. The night ended with another stage invasion and the screams for “just one more”. But like Raça said, “we like to honour our commitments and we promised Hard Club they’d have their room back at one in the morning”. Great musicians and men of honour – what’s there not to like?

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3 Responses to “Gates Of Hell: “Critical Obsession” release party”

  1. […] Originally posted in Valkyrian Music. […]

  2. […] Originally posted in Valkyrian Music. […]

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